Library-Authored Web Content and the Need for Content Strategy
Increasingly sophisticated content management systems (CMS) allow librarians to publish content via the web and within the private domain of institutional learning management systems. “Libraries as publishers” may bring to mind roles in scholarly communication and open scholarship, but the authors argue that libraries’ self-publishing dates to the first “pathfinder” handout and continues today via commonly used, feature-rich applications such as WordPress, Drupal, LibGuides, and Canvas. Although this technology can reduce costly development overhead, it also poses significant challenges. These tools can inadvertently be used to create more noise than signal, potentially alienating the very audiences we hope to reach. No CMS can, by itself, address the fact that authoring, editing, and publishing quality content is both a situated expertise and a significant, ongoing demand on staff time. This article will review library use of CMS applications, outline challenges inherent in their use, and discuss the advantages of embracing content strategy.
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